UK Spending Increases Online, but Not Without Warnings

Published December 7, 2018 by Lee R

UK Spending Increases Online, but Not Without Warnings

The diversification of online media has led to direct online advertising spend trends which bring up specific greater social protection issues.

The online environment has earned the lion's share for UK gambling.

Online Advertising Investment

Almost half of the £1.56bn (€1.78bn/$1.99bn) spent on the UK gambling market last year was invested in online advertising.

TV's Small Portion

Television advertising actually accounted for only 15% of that total, for vital perspective.

Overall Marketing Expenditure

A Regulus Partner Report on Gambling Advertising and Marketing Spend in Great Britain 2014-17 further revealed that overall marketing expenditure has increased by 56% since 2014.

Other figures in regards to direct online marketing in 2017 including banner ads and paid search amounted to £747m, or almost double the £400m spent in 2014.

Marketing Verticals

Other online marketing verticals which grew in advertising spend included social media, which rose from £42m in 2014 to £149m in 2017m, and affiliate marketing which climbed from £282m to £301m.

Though shrinking in relative percentage, the television advertising investment totals did still increase--from £155m to £234m over the three-year period, with sponsorship and merchandising covering football shirts, horse racing and other events doubling from £30m to £60m.

Print Impact

The Regulus report further revealed that other offline advertising such as print newspaper ads and billboards fell 9% from £94m in 2014 to £70m in 2017, ultimately another reflection of the means by which companies are favoring online channel options more and more.

Lottery Advertising

Other three year differentials indicate that lottery advertising dropped from £3m to £88m, a drop attributed to a decline in spending across all channels with the exception of social media, which jumped from £2m to £9m.

Commercial Online Marketing

Commercial online marketing rose in the same period, to reflect more trends and means by which online advertising dollars are being spent. To this end, commercial online marketing spend for betting, casino games, bingo and poker rose healthily from £912m to £1.47bn, with direct online marketing leading the charge at £725m spent, with affiliates at £295m.

The Question of Youth

The primary concern arising from the reported figures was expressed as social conscience by UK problem gambling charity Gambleaware CEO Marc Etches, who expressed concerns about young people being exposed to gambling.

With reported figures cited of 59% of 11 to 16-year-olds have seen gambling advertisements on social media, compared to 66% on television, Etches called for more attention on the extent of responsibility that that internet companies and social media platforms must share with operators in protecting children, and providing protection against associated risks of harm and places for youth to go for help and advice where needed.

To Grow Responsibly

The report and reactions are a necessary reminder that online gaming needs to be marketed responsibly in order to serve the interests of all members of society. 

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